Grilling Techniques

How to Smoke a Brisket

how to smoke a brisket

Smoking brisket is an art. Art that seems beyond science and perhaps impossible to master. So, let’s turn that around and break it down into the easiest thing you can do today and have the best brisket you’ve ever tasted. Being able to smoke brisket is a skill considered by all those who appreciate a great deal of barbecue. It’s like being a professor. In fact, the proper name would be “pit master.”

While we may not consider ourselves to be a pit master but being able to cook the quality of a pit master smoking brisket is something, I guarantee you can do if you follow the formula. Making the perfect brisket does not require any secret ingredients or process. Really just a combination of 5 things. If one or two of them are not added, your brisket may still come out well, so don’t worry too much.

High quality meat + good seasoning+ quality smoke + constant heat + long rest. That’s all it takes.

The keys to the best smoked brisket
  • Use high quality meat (recommended by USDA Prime).
  • Use high-quality fuel, including a lump of coal and lumps of wood.
  • Keep a fire to maintain a constant temperature
  • Low and slow. This brisket will take a long time to cook, so be prepared and never rush it.
  • Rest time is very important. Let it rest for at least an hour and maybe two hours to fully absorb all that juice.
Essential Tools and Equipment Needed for Brisket Smoking

What you will need to make an amazing brisket.

  • Smoker / BBQ.
  • Lump charcoal
  • wood chunk: Do not use small wood chips as they will burn very quickly in this long cook.
  • Disposable Aluminium Drip Pan.
  • Thermoworks A two-tone thermometer is an important smoking tool that monitors the smoker’s temperature and the internal temperature of the meat. It will alert you from a distance if the temperature sometimes goes outside the limits you have set.
  • Quick Thermapen reading thermometer reads temperature of the brisket.
  • Long tongs to transfer the brisket to and fro the
  • Cutting board for preparing and cutting the brisket.
  • Sheet Pan to spice it up and take it out of the smoke.
  • Slicing knife to cut the silver skin.
What kind of brisket meat is best for smoking?

I always recommend going with the USDA Prime Grade brisket. The inner marble is much higher than the lower grades of a cow. Marbling means oily and plentiful flavor and a very tender and tastier brisket.

  • If you can’t get a Prime grade, then go with the minimum selection option.
  • If you use grass-raised beef, your cooking time will be shorter because these cows are often leaner.
Basic steps on how to smoke brisket

It is always a good idea to read the recipe before you start. Here are some basic steps on how to smoke a brisket:

  1. Reduce excess fat to 1/4, and cover with a 50/50 mixture of kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Let it sit at room temperature for one hour.
  2. Prepare the smoker to use indirect heat and bring the temperature to 250 ° F with the combination of Post Oak and Apple (or your favorite wood type) smoke to start the smoke.
  3. Place the brisket on the smoker over indirect heat with the tip (thicker portion of meat) near the heat source. Smoke until the ambient temperature reaches 165 ° F.
  4. Wrap the brisket tightly over the uncoated butcher paper, then return to the smoker until the internal temperature reaches between 200 ° and 205 ° F.
  5. Rest for at least 1 to 2 hours before cutting and eating.
Trimming the brisket

It is important to trim excess fat from the brisket as it does not provide any benefit. There is a lot of fat marbled on the meat. Trim off the top side down and leave about 1/4 of the fat layer. You also want to remove the silver skin, as it does not break and give tenderness no matter how long it is cooked. It is up to you to decide how much time you want to spend trimming the brisket.

Trimming tips
  1. Trim the fat when the brisket is very cold. It will make it much easier to cut between the fat than when it is at room temperature or you can even refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes to really cool it before trimming it.
  2. Dry the brisket with paper towels before trimming.
  3. Use a very sharp knife when cutting the brisket. Using a blunt knife will make the task much harder than it should be. A flexible brisket knife will allow you to move easily and avoid removing any brisket meat.
  4. Don’t overdo it. You can spend as much or as little time as you want.
  5. Ask your butcher to do it for you if it is something you do not want to do yourself.
  6. Avoid cutting the brisket all together by buying one that is already cut. Some briskets are already cut, which saves a lot of time.
How to season the brisket for smoking

We want to taste the beef and smoke, so there is no need to cover that with a thick paste or marinade. You can go completely crazy with your favorite rub if you want to. With this recipe, we keep it very simple and use only the same amount of Kosher salt and fresh black pepper. After the brisket is finely trimmed and dried, mix Kosher salt and pepper in a small bowl or spice rub shaker and sprinkle evenly over all the brisket. With this smoke, we season the brisket for an hour before cooking.

How to smoke a brisket – The best woods used

Smoking woods often comes down to preference and you may need to try different types to see your favorite flavor.

  • Wood type: a combination of Post Oak and Apple Wood.
  • Wood Size: To get longer smoke, use wood chunks that are much larger than chips and that will last for hours instead of minutes so you don’t have to keep adding more.
Important temperatures of smoked brisket
  • Smoking: 245 ° to 260 ° F (keep 250 ° if possible).
  • Brisket Internal temp # 1: 165 ° F (it’s time to wrap in butcher paper)
  • Brisket Internal temp # 2: 200 to 205 ° F. (brisket finished cooking and it’s time to relax)
How can you tell if a smoked brisket is done?

The brisket is finished cooking when the internal temperature reaches between 200 ° and 205 ° F. While the time it takes to finish cooking can vary greatly depending on the variety; there should be no guessing when the brisket has finished cooking.

Always use Thermapen -read probe thermometer to check the temperature.

This means that the cooking is over, but not ready to cut and eat. You still need to rest for at least an hour and maybe two hours before the cut.

Tips on how to smoke a brisket
  • Place the thicker part of the brisket close to the heat source rather than flat (thin part). This helps the whole brisket cook evenly. Depending on your smoke
  • All about fire retention to keep fire and constant heat. If you keep the temperature at around 250 degrees, it will cook well.
  • Use a 2-channel thermometer to monitor the smoker temperature and the internal temperature of the brisket.
  • Open the lid cover as little as possible! Keep that lid closed for as long as you can smoke. When you have to open it, do it quickly. This keeps the smoke in and keeps the temperature down.
  • Use high quality wood and coal.
  • Knowing how your smoker works can take trial and error, but it makes all the difference in knowing how to do it and how to make changes to make a fire better.
  • Take notes from it. Write down how you set up your smoker, what type of wood you used, how much, and the times and temperatures of all the smoke, and rest periods. Smoking is an art and you will want to remember what works and what you don’t use specifically so you can continue to get better each time.
Fat side up or fat side down?

The myth that the fat side at the top will allow the fat to run through the meat is being busted several times. It just doesn’t work that way. I recommend placing the side of the fat next to the heat source, which will protect the meat from drying out and make excellent bark.

How long to smoke a brisket

It is about finished temperatures of more than an hour when it comes to full results. There are many variations including smoker temperature, meat size, fat content, etc.

For planning purposes; Smoking times 14 pounds brisket should be smoked for about 1 hour 15 minutes per pound at 250 ° F.

Smoking meat all the time seems to take longer than you plan to plan, so start early and let it rest for a long time.

How long to rest the brisket

Rest the brisket for 1 to 2 hours in a cool place (still wrapped in butcher paper) You can wrap it in another layer of aluminum foil and a few towels to keep it extra insulated. It can be tempting to let it rest for a while, but it’s worth the wait. This gives all the juices time to fully redistribute and will lead to more nutritious and more delicious meat.

How to cut a brisket

After the brisket is completely rested, you really can’t wait to start eating.

  • Do not cut the brisket until fully rested for at least one to 2 hours.
  • First, separate the tip from the flat. Separate the muscles from each other, which is easy to do once the meat has been cooked.
  • Slice against the grain using long slice strokes.
  • The sliced ​​brisket will dry out as soon as it is cut, so cut only what you will need as soon as possible and cut more as needed later.
  • Use a long sharp knife to cut.
What to serve with a smoked brisket

Serve with bread, butter pickles. The fresh coleslaw is perfect because you can eat it on the side or put it in a brisket sandwich if you like.

Do you need BBQ sauce with brisket

The quick answer is NO! BBQ sauce is not required for something this rich and delicious. It speaks for itself. If you need BBQ sauce in your brisket, then there may be something wrong with cooking it. This brisket should melt in your mouth with an amazing flavor that you definitely don’t want to cover. But if necessary, a small sauce can be added to the side to dip into it.